A Simple & Effective Remedy for TMJ

Do you have pain and discomfort in your jaw? Do you have ringing in your ears?  Do you have increased occurrences of headaches or migraines? These symptoms are an indicator of TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder, a problem that results from the muscles in the jaw area.  If you believe that you may be suffering from this disorder, do not hesitate to seek treatment from a TMJ specialist.  

A good start is to consult your family doctor for diagnosis and suggestions of which treatments you may pursue.  If your doctor is not a TMJ specialist, he or she will be able to refer you to a specialist that can also offer treatment. At the start, most doctors recommend that your jaw muscles a break by eating a soft diet and doing some simple jaw exercises.  

TMJ can also be helped with the use of a TMJ brace.  There are two types of braces that you can use.  The most common type of TMJ brace is plastic device that fits directly over the teeth to help realign them with the jaw.  In addition, TMJ braces help with prevention of teeth grinding and clenching, which often worsen TMJ pain symptoms.  

The TMJ brace usually looks like a sports mouth guard or invisible braces.  You can get a custom-fitted guard for your teeth so that it will work to slowly align with the jaw.  This result is to have the jaw and teeth move more smoothly. 

Often, TMJ is the caused by an improper alignment of the teeth and jaw.  This leads to clenching of the jaw, grinding of the teeth, and can cause other injuries to the mouth.  Relieving stress can cut down on some of the pain and other symptoms.  Often, the use of a TMJ brace is also required to help correct the alignment and move the jaw back into place.  

Using a TMJ brace for treatment of the jaw is a slow process.  It can take at least a few months to begin noticing any improvement, but pain should be lessened within the first three months.  If pain worsens or does not go away, the brace may need to be readjusted for a better fit.  Regular adjustments are also important to continue with the realignment process.  Each patient will have different results from using a TMJ brace depending on how severe the condition is.  

The second type of TMJ brace is also known as a TMJ wrap.  Some models come with straps that you wear around your head and jaw for support  while sleeping.  Most useful is the cold or ice wrap, which provides support and relief with cold therapy.  There are two brands on the market that you can try:
  • Brown Medical Polar Ice Wrap
  • DonJoy Dura Kold Dental/TMJ Wrap
Cold therapy allows for a quicker return to every-day functions by reducing pain and controlling swelling.  Both models come with easily adjusting straps and are made of fleece that conform to the body and protect the skin from frost bite.  TMJ wraps can be used for relief after having surgery, during rehabilitation or following physical activity.  

Patients should not attempt to use a TMJ brace or mouth guard without the advice of a trained medication professional. You want to be certain that the device that you are using is intended for TMJ treatment or else it could lead to further injury and pain.  It is not a good idea to use someone else’s brace because each brace is fitted for each individual patient’s mouth.  Talk to your doctor or dentist to see what the best treatment plan is for you.